This French thriller chronicles the unspeakable horror of rape and the aftermath of revenge. When a woman is brutally violated, her angered boyfriend and ex-boyfriend team up to track down the rapist and take justice into their own hands. Albert Dupontel, Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci star, and Gaspar Noé (I Stand Alone) directs. Nominated for the Golden Palm Award at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
The movie opens playing the “closing title credits.” This is strange as closing title credits come at the end of a movie. The camera then continues, in reverse, as two old men sit in a small room recounting the day’s catastrophes. And you should know that the entire first part of the film is shot with the camera rotating non-stop. Almost makes you sick. And with the story playing in reverse, it’s almost enough to drive one mad.
There are two scenes that made this movie qualify for Mr. WaF.
- The entire movie centers around the rape of a popular girl. She’s walking home, alone, after a party. She enters a tunnel and is being followed by a man. The man then confronts her and the rape ensues. The camera is set square in front of the two (see image below), all with one take. There is no jumping around with the camera and/or cut-scenes. You watch the brutally graphic rape scene in it’s entirety. She pulls this off spendidly. Any more realistic and you would probably need to call the authorities. Brilliant!
- There’s a scene where the girl’s beau is on a quest for revenge. He checks every seedy bar in town asking questions. They all lead him to a gay, fetish club. It’s dark and creepy inside with weird visuals at every turn. The camera is till rotating during all this. He finds his guy and bashes his head in with a fire hydrant. The special effects are done superbly. Almost so realistic that I cringed just as his scull collapsed. Awesome!
There’s little nudity – nothing to get excited about. The violence is sporadic. And aside from the head-smashing from number two above, the gore is at a minimum. This movie get’s it’s flag from the realism of both the mentioned scenes above and the unique way in which the movie unraveled. It’s worth watching – twice. You know the rules of thrillers, MoW’s. You watch them twice, but no more.